International Journal of Art & Design Education

The Meaning and Value of Home-Based Craft

Volume 24.3   2005



My interest in craft-based activity in the home was aroused by research I carried out for the Crafts Council in the mid 1990s, which found that craft education in secondary schools was in serious decline. Paradoxically interest in amateur crafts was increasing and many teenagers claimed to be ‘making things’ at home. At the present time, culture and life-long learning are priorities on the British government’s agenda and craft-based projects are being used in community, family and health education schemes targeted, for example, at quality of life enhancement, improving participation in schools and/ neighbourhood regeneration. However the majority of such schemes operate with a narrow conception of the nature and scope of craft and ignore how it is learned and practised in everyday life. This paper reports the findings of a review of literature about social and emotional benefits of participation in home-based crafts and argues this is a neglected area of art and design education theory and practice meriting increased attention and research.